A Borough High Street firm is celebrating the news that it is to receive a Queen's Award for Enterprise in international trade. MET Studio Design is one of 112 award-winning companies across the country announced by the Queen on Wednesday.
MET Studio Design – based in Maidstone Buildings Mews – provides design consultancy services to corporate and government clients worldwide. These include feasibility studies, masterplanning, business planning, concept development and project management. Exports nearly trebled between 2001 and 2003 and represented nearly all sales in the last year. The main export market is Hong Kong, with other sales going to the USA, Japan, Holland, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany, Macau, Singapore and the Middle East.
MET particularly focuses on museums, exhibitions, brand experiences, science centres, retail and commercial interiors, ocean liners, Expo pavilions, visitor centres and leisure attractions including zoos and ecoparks. Subjects covered have included information technology, natural history, telecoms, social history, environmental sciences, archaeology, water resources, ethnology, wetlands and geology. The company has 12 employees.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh continue to take a close interest in these Awards, and to mark the achievement of the winners, will once again be hosting a Reception at Buckingham Palace for three representatives of each winning organisation. This year's Reception on 14 July will be the culmination of a Queen's Awards theme day, which will see The Queen and Members of the Royal Family visiting winners of The Queen's Awards across the country.
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise differ from personal honours because they recognise the achievement of the successful business unit as a whole – management and employees working as a team. Winners are entitled to fly the Award flag and to display the emblem on their letter headings, in advertising, on the packaging of goods produced in this country, on the goods themselves, and on articles for employees such as lapel badges, ties, cuff links and brooches.
An Award is held for a period of five years from the date of its announcement. Awards are formally conferred by Grants of Appointment, symbolised by the presentation of hand-made crystal bowls on behalf of The Queen by Lord Lieutenants. Ceremonies are normally held at winners' main premises, and usually attended by staff and customers.